The former president of Brazil appeared Jair Bolsonaro to testify at federal police headquarters on Wednesday in an investigation into jewelry and gifts given to him and his wife by the Saudi king during his presidency in 2021.
Police closed off the street outside the building.
Customs officials seized one of the boxes of jewelry given to then-first lady Michelle Bolsonaro worth 16.5 million Brazilian reais ($3.26 million) in the backpack of a government aide returning from Saudi Arabia.
Bolsonaro returned two more gift packages under orders from Brazil’s federal audit court.
The former president has said that he did nothing wrong by accepting the gifts, but the jewelery shop incident tarnished his reputation as a president who fights corruption. His critics said the gifts belonged to the president’s collection and accused him of trying to avoid customs duties by smuggling them to Brazil.
Local media reported that several officials in Bolsonaro’s administration failed to recover the important jewels from customs at Cuarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo.
Bolsonaro’s defense said in a statement on Tuesday that the gift-giving audit showed his commitment to complying with the courts’ decisions and his desire to respect the law.
Bolsonaro presented another gift from the United Arab Emirates, a rifle and a pistol, to the federal police.
Bolsonaro returned to Brazil last week after spending nearly three months in self-imposed exile in the United States after losing last year’s election.
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